You bore me."
The old man exhales the smoke.
He laughs the dirty laugh.
His wrinkly smile reveals blackened teeth.
Few were missing.
My mind hits a block.
The pen is stuck after the fifth word.
I can't move it.
I have nothing.
He laughs again.
Something about my situation is quite amusing to him
He takes a last drag and starts a new one,
Rocking back and forth in a corner chair.
The room was dimly lit.
An oil lantern burns beside the inkpot with a diminishing flame.
Sheets lay across a wooden table where I found my peace.
It was colder than yesterday.
The wind monstrously howled outside.
Moonlight peeked through the shutters,
Imprinting the window grills on the floor.
The old man, silent till now, answers with a nonchalant air,
"How much can an old man like you smoke?"
"You kids don't match up."
A few more words come out.
Then it stops again.
He laughs maniacally now.
"You sit down with a notebook and pen and think, "Now, I'll write a poem". Bad poetry."
I ignore his snobbery,
And somehow finish a decent verse.
It's eternally disgusting.
I tear it up.
I say, head in my hands.
The old man throws his cigarette.
He doesn't light a new one this time.
He gets up from the chair and sits on my table.
His eyes sparkle with hope.
"When I was in LA, I didn't get that city.
I always thought there was more life in drifters, whores and losers, than traveling rich insects,
Oh, those were a pain in the arse!
Don't be like so many writers that write such insipid lines.
No heart, no soul.
Hold it in till it drives you to madness or suicide,
Then pen it, however crude and offensive, however raw and forward, however the words flow.
Don't hold back.
You don't live in this world to please critics and scholars."
The old man smiles his black toothed smile again
His face of a sage and teachings of a hermit,
Emanate a certain bliss.
And I couldn't help a smile.
"That shall be done."
I nod, gathering a new sheet and filling the pen with ink again
"Ha! You stupid polished writers!"
He guffaws, lighting another cigarette,